Monday, 15 June 2020
The question on everyone's lips right now is “how can I boost my immune system”? While the idea of taking a “superfood”, medication or touted “immune boosting supplement” is enticing, the truth of the matter is it is not that straight forward, simple or indeed possible. In fact we do not want to boost a system that is in any way inflamed already (more on this in a moment). The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity and as such is a highly complex web of specialist organs, cells, hormones and chemicals that ebb and flow in response to its surrounding environment. What we are actually striving for is an immune system that is resilient.
Tuesday, 19 May 2020Lectins have become a focal point in nutrition circles, especially in inflammatory conditions. The anti-lectin diet was popularized by The Plant Paradox, a book written by cardiac surgeon Steven Gundry, MD. In this book, Gundry claims that lectins found in plants can cause weight gain and inflammation. Lectins are a type of protein that can bind to cell membranes, as such they offer a way for molecules to stick together.
Lectins are abundant in raw legumes, nuts and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts. Like many seeds, Lectins are resistant to human digestion and they enter the blood unchanged. Because we don’t digest lectins, our immune system can produce antibodies to them. Read more to find out about lectins & inflammation...
Wednesday, 22 April 2020
In honour of IBS awareness month I wanted to turn the conversation back to this very important system - the Gastrointestinal System, that we fondly (or not so fondly if you suffer with IBS) call “The Gut”.
When assessing clients that come to see me with functional digestive disorders, rather than focus on what specific disease they may or may not have, I endeavour to assess and restore normal function across all the roles and processes within the system. If any of these go aray - IBS can be the result.
It is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the GP. As many as one in eight people have symptoms of IBS at any one time and it is a condition that greatly impacts daily life, causing sufferers anxiety about eating out or even going out for fear of a flare in their symptoms. In this blog I explain the key roles of the digestive system, dysbiosis and 3 ways dysbiosis can impact your Gut along with general recommendations of what to do.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
I started writing this blog 3 days ago, and it’s just got longer and longer due to the many possible contributing factors that are at play in relation to the disease COVID19.
I wanted to share measured and science based information with you, and I’ve had my head in the literature and mind-mapping the contributing factors to now share with you. I’ve written it in a way to answer the questions that have arisen in my mind, such as “why does it impact the over 60’s, or those with pre-existing health conditions more”, and used valid research to help me map this out for you. However, I must emphasise I am not a virologist, I am a health professional with a passion for science and helping you, my community in any way I can...
Monday, 9 March 2020
The immune system acts to protect us, often with such efficiency, it goes unnoticed. The system is a complex network of specialized cells and tissues that interact through cell signalling molecules (cytokines), cell membrane receptors and intracellular mechanisms. Immune cells are found in nearly every tissue in the body, acting like bouncers at a nightclub detecting both foreign “antigens” (trouble makers) or damaged cells that have the potential to do harm.
Read more to learn about what the gut has to do with our immune system as well as an explanation of the The Innate and Adaptive Immune System and how supporting and improving T regulatory cell function can help...
Monday, 17 February 2020
Perimenopause and menopause happen when the body’s natural production oestrogen (in the form of oestradiol) is reduced, due to the diminishment of ovarian follicles. As a result, progesterone production falls which in turn prevents the endometrium (the tissue that serves as the "wallpaper" of the uterus) from proliferating resulting in no shedding and bleeding.
The decline in these hormones, as many women discover results in symptoms, common ones being: Hair loss, Hot flushes, Mood changes, Sleep disturbances, Urinary incontinence... and plenty more! BUT……..help is at hand, yet again, mother nature has a wonderful toolkit up her sleeve! The “treatment” of menopause from an allopathic perspective is based on HRT. From a naturopathic perspective we focus on symptomatic support in the form of dietary, nutrient and herbal therapeutics and a significant component of this are the inclusions of Phyto-oestrogens.
1 CommentWednesday, 22 January 2020
Have you been told or bought into any of these statements: You have adrenal fatigue! | You are suffering as a result of “cortisol steal” - it’s hijacking/ stealing away from all of your other hormones, such as oestrogen and DHEA | Your adrenal glands are your back up at peri menopause and menopause...
All these statements are incorrect. “Adrenal fatigue”, “adrenal exhaustion” and cortisol steal - are terms offered as a “diagnosis” by sadly too many practitioners to summarize the complex dysfunctions related to the stress response. Here I explain more about the background to the stress response and why biochemically cortisol steal is impossible...
Monday, 6 January 2020
It’s easy to be swayed at this time of year that drinking juice is “healthy” and that it will negate all the sins for which we’ve committed in December! We are encouraged by very persuasive and attractive marketing to purchase 3, 5 or even 10-day juice cleanses and detoxes to help our health and be pushed across the line by promises of dramatic weight-loss. And of course we think we are giving our children a healthy alternative by letting them drink box after box of “pure fruit juice”. It’s pure fruit juice, so it’s good for us, right?
Juice, whether it is store-bought (the worst), or freshly made at home seems to be promoted as a healthy choice. But, contrary to popular belief, juice, purchased from the supermarket, is not far from drinking pure liquid sugar. And in truth, it’s not much better than drinking a can of fizzy drink, in terms of how your body deals with it. Read on for all the details along with my simple tip for “detoxing or cleansing”.
1 CommentMonday, 2 December 2019
I had the pleasure of attending 15 hours of post graduate education on autoimmunity treatment applications and clinical strategies by the Kharrazian Institute earlier this month and I wanted to write a few blogs over the coming months with some bite size pieces of information to help any of you that follow me. This post is on the very important area of losing tolerance - and I’m not talking about with your children or partner!
Autoimmunity is highly complex and multi-faceted, with many overlapping possible causes. As a functional health practitioner, with a particular interest in best supporting clients with autoimmunity to lessen symptoms and reduce “flares”, a fundamental factor to try and manage initially is the area of “Immune Tolerance”. In this blog I explore oral tolerance in detail, and show how when this is “lost”, foods, chemicals and antigens-bacterial, viral and stealth can induce autoimmunity, and play a significant contributing factor.
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Antioxidants, free radicals and oxidative stress: have become trendy topics as far as health and longevity are concerned. The best way to think about oxidative stress is as the wear and tear that happens on your system as part of our general and normal running of bodily functions, called metabolism. To protect ourselves against oxidative stress and free radicals we have a built in antioxidant system designed to mitigate this wear and tear, but can run into health problems if these reserves are overused and become depleted.
Read on to find out more about free radicals and how they cause damage the role of antioxidants & my advice for you...